Kevin Gregg put on a show in his first spring training with the Dodgers, the team he rooted for growing up.
His release Tuesday was heralded with a one-sentence press release.
We know what will happen. Barring something unforeseen, Yasiel Puig will be wearing a Chattanooga Lookouts uniform to begin the season.
But what should happen?
The Dodgers are hosting the Texas Rangers today. Scott Van Slyke is starting at first base in his first call-up to the major league side since being demoted from the 40-man roster last year.
Keep an eye on the Rangers’ bullpen. Former Dodger Josh Lindblom, traded last year to the Philadelphia Phillies for Shane Victorino, is scheduled to pitch for Texas. Not many 25-year-old middle relievers can say they were traded for two former All-Stars, but Lindblom can (Victorino and Michael Young).
Three significant bits of injury news were widely reported out of Glendale this morning (I’m in Tempe) that I’ll pass along:
1. Zack Greinke, feeling better today after missing yesterday’s start with a flu, will throw a bullpen session Friday and pitch Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
2. Carl Crawford took 50 swings off a tee today and told reporters he felt fine.
3. Scott Elbert felt fine one day after throwing on flat ground for the first time since elbow surgery in January.
A bunch of noteworthy bullet points:
Before he was named manager of the Angels, Mike Scioscia honed his coaching chops in the Dodgers’ minor-league system. In 1999, he managed the Triple-A Albuquerque Dukes to a 65-74 record.
A couple years before that — we’re guessing 1995 or ’96 — he got his first exposure to coaching, and he remembered it as a real wake-up call.
“I remember the first field I went down to in instructional league and Chico Fernandez was our infield coach with the Dodgers,” Scioscia said. “I went down to do the catching, and he said ‘Mike, who did you like?’ I said nobody. You are just seeing the (players) raw. Oh my God. But you know who was on that field? (Adrian) Beltre. (Paul) Konerko. As these kids start to get a little separation from being teenagers you see that growth and you see that stone getting polished. And then you go, ‘wow.’ It’s almost that culture shock of going down and seeing an 18-year-old when you’ve only been seeing 28-year-old all-star caliber players in the major leagues.”
McPherson last surfaced in the majors in 2011, when he made 15 plate appearances with the White Sox. Once a top prospect in the Angels’ system, the 32-year-old flamed out due to injuries after losing the starting third base job in Anaheim to Chone Figgins in 2006. He sat out all of the 2007 season after having back surgery to fuse two vertebrae in his lower back before resurfacing in 2008 with the Albuquerque Isotopes, then a Florida Marlins affiliate.
With the Dodgers, McPherson appears headed for Albuquerque again. The Isotopes’ third baseman last season, Josh Fields, recently signed a minor-league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. McPherson has spent the majority of his career at the hot corner, but also saw time at first, center field, right field and designated hitter in 2012, when he split the year between the White Sox and Pirates’ organizations.
McPherson batted .265/.344/.490 in 2012 with 17 home runs and 62 RBIs. The Dodgers will be his sixth organization in the last seven years.
The Dodgers formally announced their 2013 minor-league coaching staff Monday. It’s a long list with mostly familiar names:
Silverio, 25, missed all of last season after suffering a concussion among numerous injuries in an off-season car crash. Prior to the crash Silverio was among the Dodgers’ top prospects, batting .306/.340/.542 with 11 stolen bases and 16 homers in his first full Double-A season at Chattanooga in 2011.
Next spring he’ll be joined by infielders Ozzie Martinez and Nick Evans, right-handed pitchers Juan Abreu and Gregory Infante, left-hander Kelvin De La Cruz and catcher Wilkin Castillo.
The Dodgers recalled catcher Tim Federowicz and pitcher Javy Guerra from Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday, as expected. They will be joined in Los Angeles by pitcher John Ely, who was added to the 40-man roster.
Ely wasn’t specifically mentioned as a possibility by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Friday, but his addition comes as no surprise. Other than Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, Dodger starters had a 4.95 ERA in August. Ely was named the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year after going 14-7 with a 3.20 ERA and 165 strikeouts, leading the league in all three categories.
The 26-year-old right-hander finished the campaign on a six-game winning streak, going 6-0 with a 2.47 ERA (15 ER/54.2 IP) in his last eight starts dating to July 23. The Illinois native made his big league debut in 2010 and is 4-11 with a 5.35 ERA in 23 Major League games (19 starts).
To make room for Ely on the 40-man, Alfredo Silverio was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Silverio had been on the 15-day disabled list but was not expected to play this season after sustaining back, shoulder, neck and elbow injuries, plus a concussion, in a car crash in January.
The Albuquerque Isotopes took in a bit of bragging rights Wednesday, when John Ely was named the Pacific Coast League’s pitcher of the year.
Friday, they learned that Isotopes manager Lorenzo Bundy was named PCL manager of the year. From milb.com: